Looking back on COP28 in Dubai, it's clear that this conference generated its fair share of controversy and raised concerns about the perceived lack of action. However, amid the debates and discussions, significant outcomes and progress did emerge. The prevailing sentiment in the headlines is that incremental changes and small steps are not an option; the global climate crisis demands more substantial actions.

It's important to recognize the intricacies involved in convening such a global event. COP28 brought together an array of stakeholders, including government officials and diplomats, to grapple with exceptionally intricate, technical, and politically sensitive issues. These challenges transcend geographical and political boundaries, making consensus-building a formidable task.

Record attendance and participation were noted, underscoring the gravity of the climate challenge and the acknowledgment from different stakeholder groups. Youth delegates played a significant role in amplifying the urgency of climate action, injecting fresh perspectives and energy into the discussions. Additionally, the private sector demonstrated a heightened commitment to climate initiatives, signaling a growing recognition of the shift from voluntary to required business opportunities inherent in sustainability.

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the outcomes and insights from this crucial event, let's explore some external news and perspectives on the topic as well as insights from our team that was on the ground at COP28 for the first time as Inogen Alliance with a side event coordinated with our Associate Sustainera from Azerbaijan with presenters including Antea Brasil, Integral, Egypt; and Tonkin + Taylor New Zealand.


The Biggest Actions from COP28 

  • More than $57bn was mobilized to counteract climate change, including energy, nature, finance, food and health
  • Countries agree to transition away from fossil fuels – the beginning of the end
  • Oil & Gas Decarbonization Charter was launched with 40% of global oil companies signing
  • Over 120 countries backed the COP28 UAE Climate and Health Declaration
  • 118 countries have pledged to triple the world's global renewable energy capacity within the next seven years
  • A reduction in cooling related emissions was agreed
  • The Loss and Damage Fund was formalised, and contributions commenced
  • Agreement on the Global Goal on Adaptation and framework
  • FAO develops a roadmap to combat hunger, with 120 key actions and milestones identified



High Level Insights on COP28:

Youth-Led Initiatives: Young climate activists played a prominent role at COP28, demanding ambitious climate targets and holding leaders accountable. This COP also saw the institutionalization of a Youth Climate Champion role into future COP presidencies. 

Private Sector Pledges: Many major corporations and businesses made substantial pledges and commitments to reduce their carbon footprint and transition to more sustainable practices. 

Global Climate Financing: Discussions on climate finance were a central theme at COP28. Many nations and organizations pledged funds to support developing countries in their climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. The Green Climate Fund received a boost, with total pledges currently standing at US$12.8 billion and expected to increase. These funds play a crucial role in financing climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Adaptation and Resilience: The urgency of addressing adaptation and building climate resilience gained prominence at this conference. Experts and leaders stressed the need to not only reduce emissions but also prepare for the inevitable impacts of a changing climate. Agreements were reached on targets for the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) and its framework, emphasizing the importance of resilience and the need for financial, technological, and capacity-building support.

Technological Innovations: COP28 showcased various technological advancements and innovations aimed at combating climate change. These solutions range from renewable energy technologies to carbon capture and storage initiatives.


Summary of Negotiations Outcomes

1. Loss and Damage:

COP28 operationalized the loss and damage funding which was established in COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh. The fund will be hosted in the World Bank and pledges of around $ 730 million has been secured in Dubai. The fund will aid nations facing severe climate change impacts. The allocated pledges so far are much lower than the value needed to address the loss and damage.

2. Climate Finance Target:

COP28 sets the floor to finalize the agreement of the new collective quantified goal (NCQG) on climate finance at COP29. The agreement will include drafting a post-2025 finance target, in order to replace the $100 billion previously pledged by developed countries to finance mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries. However, the language for the NCQG to consider the needs for NDC and NAPs implementation was weakened in the final version of the text and was criticized by developing countries.

 3. Global Goal on Adaptation:

COP28 sets 2030 as a date for targets on water security, food security, ecosystem restoration, infrastructure, cultural heritage, and health. In addition, the need to significantly scale up adaptation finance beyond doubling was included in the final text. The final text was criticized for having weak language regarding the targets without quantification, timelines, scaling up of the adaptation finance, and closing the adaptation gap.

4. Global Stocktake:

COP28 witnessed the first-ever “global stocktake” under the Paris Agreement, and for the first time in COP history there was a decision that explicitly calls for “transitioning away from fossil fuels”. The text was criticized for not including “phasing out” of fossil fuels, for having weak text regarding the phasing down of unabated coal, and for not including near-term targets for fossil fuels other than the net zero goal by 2050. The text also included global targets for tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030. Moreover, accelerating other zero and low-emission technologies such as nuclear and carbon capture and storage/utilization were included as global targets but without time frame.

5. Carbon Markets:

COP28 leaves critical questions on carbon markets unanswered. This includes delaying decisions on how the various types of carbon credits (especially the ones away from the UN-governed carbon market) will be supervised; hence, impacting the credibility of emission-reducing projects. 

6. Just Transition:

COP28 adopted a decision to operationalize the just transition work program, which was established in COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh. The work program will focus on just and equitable transition pathways that include energy, socioeconomic, workforce and other dimensions in addition to approaches to enhancing adaptation and climate resilience. However, the text was criticized by developing countries since it did not include strong language on support for just transition.

7. Nature-Based Solutions:

COP28 integrates nature-based solutions into climate goals, setting a promising 2030 deforestation goal and recognizing the vital role of ecosystems in climate adaptation and noting the need for enhanced support to achieve such a goal.